Davis said he first met Vinayagamoorthy, a 57-year-old London physician, at a Tamil cultural event in the Chicago suburbs at which both of them gave speeches "a few years ago." Vinayagamoorthy also participated in several of the meetings that Davis held while visiting Sri Lanka, the congressman said.
The Tamil supporter contacted the congressman's office again last week seeking a chance to brief Davis on events in Sri Lanka, where violence between the government and Tamil Tigers has flared anew. Vinayagamoorthy arranged to do so while walking alongside Davis Saturday for 10 blocks during the congressman's annual "Back to School" Parade in Chicago, Davis said.
The criminal complaint against Vinayagamoorthy asserts that he had "direct and frequent contact" with leaders of the rebel group and was "often dispatched" to facilitate Tamil Tiger projects around the world.
Without mentioning Davis or his aide by name, the complaint describes a series of transactions in which Vinayagamoorthy and others charged in the case allegedly laundered $13,150 in Tamil Tiger funds at the direction of a top guerilla leader to pay for travel of "two individuals" to Tamil-controlled Sri Lanka. The two individuals were Davis and Cantrell, law enforcement officials said.
Another person arrested in the case, Nachimuthu Socrates, was listed as a director in 2004 of the Tamil cultural organization which Davis listed in public disclosure forms as the trip's sponsor, the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America. Representatives of the federation did not return phone messages on Wednesday.
Davis said he always assumed that the organization had a connection with the Tamil Tigers.
"I knew that they were associated with the Tamil Tigers, yes," he said.
Friday, August 25, 2006
More Democratic congerssional leadership on terror
Just not the kind they should have